March fishing can be tough in the Miss-Lou
For the past two weeks the bass and white perch fishing has been tough on most of the landlocked oxbow lakes in Louisiana.
We did catch a few small, male bass but the big females were just not biting.
Since the coontail moss has disappeared from the oxbow lakes (Concordia, St. John and Bruin) the water clarity is not what it used to be.
Moss is a water filter that keeps the water clarity and quality in good shape. It’s a proven fact that moss helps the lakes.
If you look at all the lakes that had moss and then the moss was removed by herbicides or grass carp, the fish population dropped off real fast.
Throughout the 1980s until about 2000 we had moss, and we had a lot of fish. We had people coming here for their vacation and having a great time. Now they come here once and usually don’t come back. Most people are now going to Texas simply because most Texas waters are loaded with moss and have better regulations that ensure the fish population remains high.
It’s amazing at the amount of money Texas makes off fishing. Texas is on most everyone’s bucket list as the place to go to catch big fish and a lot of fish.
The water is clear and the lakes are loaded with game fish. Moss benefits everyone, even if you don’t fish but like to ski or just cruise around in a pontoon boat and swim in the lakes.
Moss filters out chemicals and keeps our waters clean. Without moss, water quality drops off as well as water clarity.
Sight fishing is a big thing in most southern states during the spawn. You can just run your trolling motor until you locate a nest with a big female bass on it and work that fish with various lures until you catch her.
You can’t do that when you can’t see any deeper than one foot. That’s the major problem this year. We’re pulling the smaller male bass off a nest we can’t see by random casting down the bank and not slowing down to catch the larger female bass.
I conducted a weigh-in on Lake Bruin last Saturday during the new Top Rod Series of bass tournaments. More than 90 percent of the bass weighed in were small male fish.
It only took a five-bass limit weighing 12.16 pounds to win and a 4.44 pound fish won the big bass division.
That’s a far cry from the 18- to 20-pound limits caught in February this year.
The good news is with this warm weather the bass and perch spawn will soon be over, and we’ll have great top water and crank bait bite for the bass. The bottom bite will still be there, but we’ll have more options if the fish are not feeding on the bottom.
Right now the surface water temperature tops out in the low to mid 70s. That’s a sure sign the spawn is at least half way complete.
The big fish in the Louisiana lakes have yet to show up this year. There may be a few trophy bass and slab perch caught soon but as of right now I have yet to hear of a single bass over 7 pounds coming from the oxbow lakes.
Matt Smith of Natchez recently boated a nice 8-pound bass from the Natchez State Park Lake.
This small lake is receiving very little fishing pressure. Most people are going to Franklin County to fish Okhissa Lake and for good reason. Okhissa is a well-managed federal lake that’s loaded with big Florida bass.
Thanks to a protected slot length limit, creel restrictions and strict enforcement you can expect this to be our next trophy bass lake in the near future.
We will be on Okhissa Lake April 21 conducting the fourth annual Big Bass Challenge. This is a fun event that offers a good payout every two hours for the largest bass weighed in.
You can contact me for more information on most local bass tournaments.
On April 28 we will host the second annual Relay for Life bass tournament on Lake St. John.
The second of four Top Rod Series touranments will cast off on Lake Concordia April 14.
April is a busy month for bass tournaments. Hopefully the fishing will be better in April.
Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.